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Altitudinal divergence in maternal thermoregulatory behaviour may be driven by differences in selection on offspring survival in a viviparous lizard

Uller, Tobias LU ; While, Geoffrey; Cadby, Chloe; Harts, Anna; O'Connor, Katherine; Pen, Ido and Wapstra, Erik (2011) In Evolution 65(8). p.2313-2324
Abstract
Plastic responses to temperature during embryonic development are common in ectotherms, but their evolutionary relevance is poorly understood. Using a combination of field and laboratory approaches, we demonstrate altitudinal divergence in the strength of effects of maternal thermal opportunity on offspring birth date and body mass in a live-bearing lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus). Poor thermal opportunity decreased birth weight at low altitudes where selection on body mass was negligible. In contrast, there was no effect of maternal thermal opportunity on body mass at high altitudes where natural selection favored heavy offspring. The weaker effect of poor maternal thermal opportunity on offspring development at high altitude was... (More)
Plastic responses to temperature during embryonic development are common in ectotherms, but their evolutionary relevance is poorly understood. Using a combination of field and laboratory approaches, we demonstrate altitudinal divergence in the strength of effects of maternal thermal opportunity on offspring birth date and body mass in a live-bearing lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus). Poor thermal opportunity decreased birth weight at low altitudes where selection on body mass was negligible. In contrast, there was no effect of maternal thermal opportunity on body mass at high altitudes where natural selection favored heavy offspring. The weaker effect of poor maternal thermal opportunity on offspring development at high altitude was accompanied by a more active thermoregulation and higher body temperature in highland females. This may suggest that passive effects of temperature on embryonic development have resulted in evolution of adaptive behavioral compensation for poor thermal opportunity at high altitudes, but that direct effects of maternal thermal environment are maintained at low altitudes because they are not selected against. More generally, we suggest that phenotypic effects of maternal thermal opportunity or incubation temperature in reptiles will most commonly reflect weak selection for canalization or selection on maternal strategies rather than adaptive plasticity to match postnatal environments. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Evolution
volume
65
issue
8
pages
2313 - 2324
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:79960790114
ISSN
1558-5646
DOI
10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01303.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
ed9c7036-267c-4023-94e5-c1297aaf7bd2 (old id 4739031)
date added to LUP
2014-11-11 11:05:00
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:00:56
@article{ed9c7036-267c-4023-94e5-c1297aaf7bd2,
  abstract     = {Plastic responses to temperature during embryonic development are common in ectotherms, but their evolutionary relevance is poorly understood. Using a combination of field and laboratory approaches, we demonstrate altitudinal divergence in the strength of effects of maternal thermal opportunity on offspring birth date and body mass in a live-bearing lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus). Poor thermal opportunity decreased birth weight at low altitudes where selection on body mass was negligible. In contrast, there was no effect of maternal thermal opportunity on body mass at high altitudes where natural selection favored heavy offspring. The weaker effect of poor maternal thermal opportunity on offspring development at high altitude was accompanied by a more active thermoregulation and higher body temperature in highland females. This may suggest that passive effects of temperature on embryonic development have resulted in evolution of adaptive behavioral compensation for poor thermal opportunity at high altitudes, but that direct effects of maternal thermal environment are maintained at low altitudes because they are not selected against. More generally, we suggest that phenotypic effects of maternal thermal opportunity or incubation temperature in reptiles will most commonly reflect weak selection for canalization or selection on maternal strategies rather than adaptive plasticity to match postnatal environments.},
  author       = {Uller, Tobias and While, Geoffrey and Cadby, Chloe and Harts, Anna and O'Connor, Katherine and Pen, Ido and Wapstra, Erik},
  issn         = {1558-5646},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {2313--2324},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Evolution},
  title        = {Altitudinal divergence in maternal thermoregulatory behaviour may be driven by differences in selection on offspring survival in a viviparous lizard},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01303.x},
  volume       = {65},
  year         = {2011},
}